In some of my previous uploads I've put together some then and now scenes. This set me off rummaging through some of my old pics to see what else I could find and I came up with this one. The bottom right image was taken at the GCR Steam Gala at Loughborough last October and shows GCR class 8K (LNER & BR class O4) hauling a freight train. The picture top left was taken in the sixties at Bleakhills just to the south of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, a short time before the Great Central was closed. The locomotive is a Thompson O1 class. The original picture was taken with a borrowed Agfa snapshot camera on Fugichrome colour film but the colour fixer hasn't prevented fade, so I've converted it to B&W and enhanced it with Photoshop. It was taken not long after the picture in my upload of the Grimsby to Billingsgate fish train. Today, the earthworks have been levelled and you wouldn't know a railway had ever been there.
It's difficult to believe these days, but these trains were classified as class 9, which meant there wasn't a continuous brake on the wagons ! The only means of stopping the train was the locomotive and tender brakes and a hand operated screw brake in the Guards Van. I always thought the crews operating these trains were the most highly skilled people on the railway.